Friday, September 20, 2013

The planned Jamul Casino is facing a challenge: The Jamul Action Committee (JAC) and the Jamul Community Church have jointly sued the U.S. Department of the Interior, the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC), and six officials in a suit filed in Sacramento today.  The named officials are:
  • Tracie Stevens, NIGC Chairwoman
  • Sally Jewell, Interior Department Secretary
  • Kevin Washburn, assistant secretary of Indian Affairs
  • Paula Hart, director of the Office of Indian Gaming
  • Amy Dutschke, regional director, Bureau of Indian Affairs
  • John Rydzik, chief, Division of Environmental, Cultural Resources Management and Safety of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The key bits:
The plaintiffs - a nonprofit citizen group and Christian church - challenged a gaming commission finding that the Jamul Indian Village (JIV) had "Indian lands" qualified for gambling under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA).

Though the IRA trusts cover recognized Indian tribes under federal jurisdiction, Supreme Court precedent limits inclusion "to federally recognized tribes that were in existence when the IRA was enacted in 1934," according to the complaint.

Federal recognition of the Jamul Indian Village allegedly came after 1980.

The parcel, the plaintiffs claim, is not a reservation as defined in federal law.

"The defendants have no authority to create a reservation or Indian lands on non-public domain lands within the exterior boundaries of the state of California," the complaint states. "The parcel is not public domain land and is subject to state jurisdiction. The state has not ceded jurisdiction to the JIV or the United States. The defendants' attempt to exempt and remove the parcel from state jurisdiction by characterizing it as a reservation or Indian lands eligible for gambling in the ILD is an abuse of discretion and is arbitrary, capricious and contrary to the law."

Opponents also say that exceptions under the IGRA do not apply to the parcel.

"The defendants' determination in the ILD that the parcel is a reservation, or Indian lands eligible for gaming under IGRA, is not supported by the record," according to the complaint.
More on the news report and at the JAC site linked above...
The man.  The myth.  The legend.  Here's one passage from the enviable obituary for William Freddie McCullough:
Freddie adored the ladies. And they adored him. There isn't enough space here to list all of the women from Freddie's past. There isn't enough space in the Bloomingdale phone book. A few of the more colorful ones were Momma Margie, Crazy Pam, Big Tittie Wanda, Spacy Stacy and Sweet Melissa (he explained that nickname had nothing to do with her attitude). He attracted more women than a shoe sale at Macy's.
I'd like to have known Mr. McCullogh – he sounds like quite the character!
Breathtakingly stupid, or just unabashedly partisan?  Maybe both.  But does it really matter what motivates the moonbat?  Here are a couple of her statements from this recent interview:

On Obama: “He has been … open, practically apolitical, certainly nonpartisan, in terms of welcoming every idea and solution.”  Really, Nancy?  Really?  Is this something that you actually believe?  If so, then I worry that there's actually no gray matter in your skull (though that would be consistent with other observations).

On Republican scorn for Obama:  “You know why it is. He’s brilliant, … he thinks in a strategic way in how to get something done … and he’s completely eloquent. That’s a package that they don’t like.”  Riiiight, Nancy.  You got it in one.  That's the reason, all right.  By the way, could I have some of whatever you're drinking?

Here's what does matter: the citizens of California keep re-electing Pelosi.  That tells you all you need to know about California's future.  And why we're moving out of this crazy state...
California, bringing on the doom...  Steven Greenhut, writing at Reason, on why it will take radical measures to save California from the recklessness of its officials.  That's the same conclusion we reached some time ago, and the reason why we're leaving the Golden State.  Say, isn't gold supposed to be free of tarnish?  Doesn't seem to be working on this state...
A thought to ponder...  Consider this:
“...the world thinks we are a great military power. They know all about the missiles and tanks and satellites, they've seen our soldiers. They know our might. The world is no longer certain we are a great nation, which is a different problem”
Indeed, that is quite a different problem.  Go read the rest of Peggy Noonan's excellent piece in today's Wall Street Journal.  It's quite nice to have the old Peggy Noonan back, the one without Obama stars in her eyes...
The perma-bear is worried about phosphates.  And a host of other commodities...
Well how about that!  I'm not the only proponent of shutting down the manned space program in favor of increased robotic space exploration...
Domino liver transplant – the liver removed from a patient receiving a heart/liver transplant became the new liver for another patient.  The primary motivation for this was the rules regarding allocation of donor organs.  The second patient wouldn't have lived long enough to have received a liver under those rules.

Some day, when you're in need of brain pain and heart ache, read up on the debate over how donor organs are allocated.  The main problem is that there are fewer organs donated than are needed. 

Usually the debate is framed as a problem in deciding who will live and who will die.  Today in the U.S. we use a complicated formula that attempts to make a judgment about which recipient will get the most use from the donor organ.  Thus, all other things being equal, a 20 year old recipient will be get a donor organ before the 70 year old, and a healthy 60 year old recipient would come before a 60 year old with leukemia.  There is an attempt to keep money out of the equation, but this doesn't really work, as if one has enough money organs are available in other countries.

Occasionally you'll see it framed as a problem in getting more organs for donation.  There are many proposed ways of doing this, ranging from high-tech “organ farms” to making donation obligatory to “harvesting” organs from prisoners on death row.  All of these approaches have ethical and moral concerns, some more so than others.  In some countries organs are so readily available that there is suspicion that harvesting from prisoners (perhaps not even awaiting a death sentence) is already taking place.

I don't have any conclusions about this, though I do have a sneaking suspicion that by keeping the free market completely out of it we are, in this case, actually killing people.  Just one example will suffice to make my point.  Suppose one of your loved ones faced death within a few months unless they got a heart transplant.  Further suppose that an ideal donor was killed in a car accident – but the victim had never authorized donation, and his surviving family didn't want to donate the heart.  Today, that would be the end of it – that heart wouldn't be used, and your loved one would die. 

Now imagine just one change to the (quite common) scenario I just described: suppose you could afford to pay $10,000 for that heart, you made the offer to the victim's family, and they accepted it.  They get $10,000, and your loved one lives.  Is that so bad?  Under today's rules, that's illegal.  Should it be?  I think not...but I absolutely agree that making such “purchases” legal would greatly increase the possibility of dodgy dealings.  In this case, though, I think the cure is worse than the disease...
Manicules and pilcrows and octothorpes, oh my!  A fun article on the history of punctuation and text layout, by Keith Houston writing in The New Yorker.  After reading the article, I decided to buy Keith's book – it sounds like just the kind of thing to entertain me on some rainy day...
More on IOS7, in this nice overview of the new features.  I only had trouble with one new feature: accessing Control Center by swiping up from the bottom of any screen.  I finally figured out that it was my OtterBox that was causing my problem, and the workaround was simply to be careful how I position my finger (getting it as close to the bottom edge of the screen as possible) before swiping.

I see from my reading that lots of people don't like the new “flat” appearance.  Personally I find it much easier to read and use, though not as “pretty” as the old appearance.  I care much more about the former than the latter...
The problem.  Forwarded by my mom, who lives much closer to the center of the problem than I do:
A cowboy named Bud was overseeing his herd in a remote mountainous pasture in Montana when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced toward him out of a cloud of dust.

The driver, a young man in a Brioni® suit, Gucci® shoes, RayBan® sunglasses and YSL® tie, leaned out the window and asked the cowboy, "If I tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, will you give me a calf?"

"Sure, why not?"

The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell® notebook computer, connects it to his Cingular RAZR V3® cell phone, and surfs to a NASA page onthe Internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite to get an exact fix on his location which he then feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo.  The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop® and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany.  Within seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot® that the image has been processed and the data stored. He then accesses an MS-SQL® database through an ODBC connected Excel® spreadsheet with email on his Blackberry® and, after a few minutes, receives a response.  Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized HP LaserJet® printer, turns to the cowboy and says, "You have exactly 1,586 cows and calves."

"That's right. Well, I guess you can take one of my calves," says Bud.

He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on with amusement as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car.  Then Bud says to the young man, "Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my calf?"

The young man thinks about it for a second and then says, "Okay, why not?"

"You're a Congressman for the U.S. Government", says Bud.

"Wow! That's correct," says the yuppie, "but how did you guess that?”

"No guessing required." answered the cowboy. "You showed up here even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked. You used millions of dollars worth of equipment trying to show me how much smarter than me you are; and you don't know a thing about how working people make a living - or about cows, for that matter. This is a herd of sheep. Now give me back my dog. 
What makes this so funny is that it's completely plausible – but what makes this so sad is that it's completely plausible...